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Updraft: A Novel (Bone Universe Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 365 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 1 of 3 in Bone Universe|
|Age Level: 13 - 17||Grade Level: 8 - 12|
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STARRED REVIEW "The world of the towers grown from bone, where residents strap on wings and soar the air currents, is captivating. As a coming-of-age story, Kirit's journey to find her place is satisfying, but the real draw is a world that readers will be anxious to revisit in future volumes of this exciting new series." - Library Journal, July 7, 2015
STARRED REVIEW -- Extraordinary worldbuilding and cascading levels of intrigue make Wilde's debut fantasy novel soar. ... The setting is marvelously unusual, a city grown from living bone and populated by everyday people who have left the ground far behind.... This well-written and fascinating exploration of a strange land is an extremely promising start for an exciting new writer. " - Publisher's Weekly June 2015
"... The world itself is as much a character as any of the individuals within its pages, and in the grand tradition of science fiction and fantasy, the main character's growth and struggles are bound up with learning more about the world. ... I galloped through it to find out what came next.... With Updraft, Fran Wilde has written a compelling debut, and I for one look forward to seeing what she does next." - Locus May 2015
"A world with a detailed, believable history and society... rich with themes of tradition, progress, ambition, and class struggles that will resonate with readers." (E.C. Myers, Norton-Award winning author, Silence of the Six.)
iO9: Mind-Blowing Science Fiction and Fantasy to Watch Out For in 2015
Kirkus: 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books To Look Forward to in 2015
About the Author
- Publication Date : September 1, 2015
- File Size : 1162 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 365 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00TDPZ58U
- Publisher : Tor Books (September 1, 2015)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #526,469 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Set in a city made of living bone towers that continuously grows upward, all the action happens above the clouds. Kirit is the daughter of a trader who, with expertly made wings, flies about the city, as most citizens do. Trouble for Kirit begins during a skymouth migration (skymouths are invisible, predatory creatures who are not usually visible until they open their toothy mouths, which by then is too late), when all the citizens are ordered indoors. Kirit, breaking this Law, stays outside, thinking the worst of the migration is over. One, however, has remained, and has set its sights on her. Unable to get inside, Kirit screams…and drives the skymouth away.
Later, Kirit is visited by Wik, a Singer (the maker, and enforcer, of the Laws that rule the bone towers), who informs her that while she broke the law, he wants to take her to the Spire, the home tower of the Singers, to better ascertain how she drove off the skymouth. Kirit, fearing a trap, refuses to go. She is then, along with her friend Nat, given lawbreaker chips that need to be worked off. As time goes on, it becomes clear that Kirit and Nat’s lives are being manipulated to fail unless Kirit comes to the Spire.
Once there, Kirit’s life is turned upside down as she learns not just the secret history of the towers, but of the falsehoods she had been told concerning her own parents. As she fights to become a Singer in her own right, Kirit must face many deadly challenges, including a power struggle within the Spire that could spell the end of all the towers.
This is a fantastic, original world that Wilde has created. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, “Cloudbound”!
When I first finished it, I didn't think I was very impressed, but thinking about it today I realize that the world building is quite impressive and not like anything else I've ever read before. The City in the novel consists of towers grown from living bone, and the people who live in them live above the clouds. The main mode of transportation is flying; all the adult residents get around gliding using wings attached to their arms. Some towers have bridges to other towers so the residents can interact with other towers, but not all do which is a disadvantage to the isolated towers. We meet the main character, Kirit, just before her wingtest, which is a rite of passage that will allow her to participate in society as a full-fledged adult (oops - inadvertent pun, but apt, so I'll leave it.
The City is a character just as important as the humans in my opinion, since the bone towers continue to grow. I found the towers fascinating, and one of the mysteries is how the people moved into the towers and what is below the clouds where no one ever goes any more.
While I was reading the book, I found Kirit rather annoying at times, but she is after all an adolescent and we know that young people can be impatient and sure that their way is the RIGHT way. Sigh - it's been a long time since I was a teenager, but I remember acting that way back then. But Kirit is also a loving person who is loyal to her family and friends, which creates difficulties for her after she goes to the Singers. And after reading Elizabeth Stroud's "Olive Kitteredge" I found that I don't have to like the main character to adore the book and the story itself.
Overall, I found the book to be an enjoyable read which kept me turning pages late into the night and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well told tale that transports him or her to a world quite unlike our own.
Without overhyping the world building, not to ruin the plot for anyone because there's no Elvish linguistic intensity or 500 year genealogy tree prefacing this. I do feel like it could use a map. I like a book with a map. Doesn't everyone? All that said, I enjoyed being in unfamiliar territory and the fresh world Ms. Wilde created. Worth reading. Worth recommending to people I care about. And since I bought it, it won the Nebula award. So it seems that a few other people think it's worth reading, too.
Updraft portrays revolution and rebellion without presenting the conflict as clear-cut. While there was a period about a third of the way through where I was left waiting for the main conflict to reveal itself, the style is light and engaging enough that I had no problem pressing on. All in all a fun and fast read.
Top reviews from other countries
This YA novel is written using the iceberg method – so much so that you think you might be picking up the second or third in a series, but you’re not. The author merely knows a lot more than she’s telling you, and you have to do the usual (science fiction) detective work to understand what is happening. Of course, it helps that this is a society with social strata and secrets, which our heroine and reader proxy Kirit Densira seeks to learn and to expose.
Daughter of a successful trader, Kirit wants to pass her wingtest and join her mother in the family business. But she makes a mistake, breaks Tower Law, and finds herself fighting for both her wings and her identity, as she is pulled into the secretive and deadly world of the Singers, the priest-like enforcers of the Laws.
In this world, people live in organic towers which soar above the clouds and keep growing, gradually filling the lower levels with thickened bones. The higher you are in a tower, the higher your status; but if you can’t fly, you’re nowhere. And even if you can fly, you have to watch out for dangerous predators and keep your wits about you.
Updraft features the kind of imaginative world-building that you’d expect from the very best of the fantasy genre, but unlike a lot of fantasy (I’m looking at you, A Song of Ice and Fire), this is also incredibly pacy, with a story that fair rockets along, leaving you breathless in its wake. If you enjoyed last year’s success, The Goblin Emperor, you will certainly love this as much as I did. And even if The Goblin Emperor was too fantasy-like for you, Updraft, as I said above, feels a lot like a certain type of science fiction (Katherine Kerr’s Snare is a good comparison), so should appeal to those wary of the usual fantasy fare. There are no dragons or elves herein.
Entertaining and intriguing as this was, I do hope there are more to come.